Heathrow’s passenger numbers continued to climb in March, with over 6.5 million passengers travelling through the UK’s only hub airport, ringing in the 29th consecutive month of record growth for the airport. Despite the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, attitude towards travelling remains strong.
Africa performed especially well over the past month, increasing by 6.2% compared to the same time last year. Domestic connections also saw a slight uplift (+0.2%) with British Airways launching its 2nd service to Inverness and Flybe growing their loads by more than 23% with an inaugural flight to Cornwall on March 31, that will reconnect the airport for the first time since 1997.
Regarding cargo, more than 149,000 metric tonnes travelled through the UK’s biggest port by value, further demonstrating the importance of Heathrow in a post Brexit world. Both Latin America and Africa saw remarkable double-digit growth with the former up 23% on 2018 due to additional services to Brazil and increased volumes to Mexico. Freight to and from Africa grew by 11%, thanks to Virgin’s growth on routes to the continent.
Another important landmark this month has been the granting of Skytrax World Airport Awards in London. Heathrow airport has renewed its position as “Best Airport in Western Europe” and “Best Airport for Shopping”, becoming the fifth and the tenth time in a row the airport received these accolades from the Skytrax World Airport Awards. Also, Heathrow Terminal 5 tops list of the world’s best airport Terminal -for the sixth time in its 11-year history- and Terminal 2 is close behind as fourth best globally.
Moreover, in March, Heathrow launched the airport’s new Innovation Prize to fund ideas and solutions addressing aviation environmental impact. The prize is sponsored by Heathrow’s new Centre of Excellence for Sustainability, which connects experts and offers Heathrow as a living laboratory to test and develop ideas that encourage sustainable aviation.
The expansion project reached another significant milestone, as the names and locations of the 18 shortlisted sites in the running to become offsite construction centres for Britain’s new runway were revealed. Shortlisted sites will now pitch to airport bosses for their chance to become one of the final four construction centres, to be announced early next year.
“Despite Brexit uncertainty, Heathrow remains a bright light for the UK, with the role we play in keeping people and products moving evident. Our new domestic connections will be pivotal in linking more regions and nations to global opportunities, benefiting all corners of this great country and we look forward to announcing many more of these as part of the expansion programme.”